PHOTO: Another Milestone for Port of Oakland

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helped California make history this week when the largest container ship ever to visit the United States berthed at the port of Oakland, an achievement port officials are calling a milestone in trans-Pacific trade.

The quarter-mile long Benjamin Franklin, operated by the French-based CMA CGM group, arrived from Los Angeles on its maiden voyage after being launched from a Chinese shipyard in November.

Port officials are calling its successful berthing a game-changer in the history of trade between the United States and Asia, a visit made possible by the Corps’ San Francisco District, which dredged the port’s shipping channels to 50 feet in order to accommodate deep draft vessels.

Annual maintenance of Oakland Harbor performed by the Corps has made it one of only a handful of American ports capable of berthing cargo ships of this size, visits that create thousands of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in business revenue.

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